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Bad habits and warnings from sim racing?

 
Old 01-25-2019, 10:37 AM
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R717
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Default Bad habits and warnings from sim racing?

Hi all, like the title states, I'm curious if anyone has experienced or seen bad habits picked up on the sim that impacted real life driving, and how to avoid them.

Quick background for context: I only have about half a dozen DE days, but will be getting serious with 9-10 DEs this year pursuing my goal to get to vintage and pca club racing. Over the summer I picked up a complete fanatec setup and dabbled in iracing. I've been spending more time on iracing since the snow started hitting the ground. So far I've mostly gotten good at both feet in and looking where I want to go when spinning... Bottom line, what things/habits should a relatively inexperienced track driver look out for on the sim.
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Old 01-25-2019, 11:19 AM
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Are you using fixed displays or VR (Rift or other)?

I’ve been a proponent of sim practice for real-life for twenty years, starting with iRacing as a beta tester in 2008. For awhile, I used multiple sims at my facility at VIR to “virtually coach,” watching live telemetry (data export real-time) from the client while on the sim and able to offer feedback to correct “bad” habits and reinforce good ones.

You’re not going to hear too many negatives from me, especially if you practice with purpose and a very targeted intent. Rarely do I recommend jumping into races, when the goal is track or technique visualization and execution.

The hazards to avoid in sim practice are the same as in real life. While good that your autonomic response to spinning is being developed correctly (both feet in), your ultimate goal is to go as quickly as you can WITHOUT spinning or going off! Many of the problem areas people have on the sim are the same as they WILL have on track, so pay attention and keep a record. Pay attention to incremental improvement, rather than making big jumps. Train your eyes for recognizing the “rise time” of yaw build, so you can avoid not recognizing it until it’s too late.

Keep your eyes moving, if possible. It’s easy to stare with a fixed display.

Avoid LARGE control level increments, seek to split the steering and pedal inputs into progressively smaller and smaller increments. Big corrections are bad habits when transitioning to real-life. It means something went wrong that you didn’t realize until it was too late or called for too much input.

Lots more but you are on the RIGHT track!
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Old 01-25-2019, 12:16 PM
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I started sim racing in the late 90's with Sports Car GT. For me, it did nothing but better prepare me for racing. I accelerated through DE to racing in a relatively short period of time partly due to the fact that I was so comfortable with the car on the edge as well as the race environment. The competition school instructors commented on my situation awareness saying it good. I credit this to the countless hours of chaotic race starts in sim racing. I vividly remember once looping the car in the high speed esses at VIR after taking too much curb. I immediately put two feet in and looked in my rear view mirror to steer the car as it rolled in reverse with the direction of traffic out in the grass. I was able to steer the car due to being in that situation many times before in sim racing. Bottom line is I think it can only help.
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Old 01-25-2019, 12:31 PM
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Paul Solk
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The only bad habits truly come from not having the right sim setup in my opinion.

1. I am a huge advocate of triple screen or VR if you can tolerate it. Both do an excellent job of training you to lead with your eyes and head and pick out accurate visual markers. They also get you in the habit of looking for your mirrors in the same way you would in a real car. Single screen is good but how often do you sit with your head looking straight ahead on a race track?
2. Controls: Again, like above if you don't have an accurate feel in your hands or especially your brake pedal you aren't really translating from the sim to the RW. One of the keys to this in a wheel is wheel slip. If you don't have motion you are really relying on your hands and slip angle to tell you what is happening. It doesn't mean you have to spend thousands but something that emulates a good feel is imperative.

Brake pedal, wheel and visuals make or break translating the sim to the real world in my opinion. Personally I use fairly mid level controls, Thrustmaster TS-PC wheel and Fanatec inverted pedals with the brake kit... The wheel is well weighted, has great feel and the pedals have accurate travel and allow me the two most critical aspects of braking that you need to translate to real world. 1. Firm initial application, you better see a peak on the data and 2. very controlled trail braking and brake release capabilities...

If you have the right setup what you do in the sim will carry into the RW and vice versa...
Just my input...
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Old 01-25-2019, 12:51 PM
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I would suggest racing in iracing. There are some 'softer' skills that you can only really learn racing against other humans. When you make a competitive overtake, you naturally get excited and that can sometimes lead to errors, so learning how to deal with your emotions is another skill that sim racing can teach. Getting stuck behind someone happens in both 'the real' and the sim, you can teach yourself the patience and the strategy so when you experience this for the first time on track you know how to handle it.
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Old 01-25-2019, 12:58 PM
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I have been sim racing since 2009 or so, started on a laptop with rfactor when i was racing karts. I can def say it has helped me advance and keep my skills up. I was out of my SRF for 6-7 months, jumped back in and was back up running and won a race.

What i take from sim racing is this:

- mental training, staying focused for 20,30,40 minutes at a time hitting your marks and being consistent
- foot work, proper squeezing of the pedals, downshifting, releasing both pedals
- i know this may sound crazy but i also feel from sim racing i could catch my real car making moves much quicker by front end movement.

dont go out and drive crazy on the sim, most people treat it as a game. If you go out, do your out lap as you would, warm yourself up, cool yourself down, it will help you with your game plan when in the real car.
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Old 01-25-2019, 01:02 PM
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LuigiVampa
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I don't use sims for the finer points of driving the track, but rather, I use it to mentally learn all the corners and some understanding of the racing line and where the apexes are.

Without feeling the G forces from the car I have a problem using a sim to fine tune what I am doing.

That being said, it is a useful tool especially for tracks which I only visit occasionally.
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Old 01-25-2019, 03:00 PM
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I drove a sim for years (Grand Prix Legends) before driving on a real track and for the most part, it was a benefit, except for one thing. I unexpectedly based my driving almost totally based on visuals - very little seat feel. The sim doesn't have any, so I developed visual cues to detect when the car was pushing or loose. Remarkably I manged to get over half-way up the run group ladder like this and had a major plateau. Then one day I had an epiphany that I wasn't feeling the car. Guys I drive with had difficulty understanding this, but once I started paying attention to it, lap times dropped and comfort went way up. Imagine driving your car without any feel. I'm convinced it was from the sims.

As a side note, I was trailbraking the first day in Green well enough that my instructor was comfortable with it :-).

-Mike
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Old 01-25-2019, 03:19 PM
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Bad habit: Underestimating what that wall feels like in the RW.
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Old 01-25-2019, 03:58 PM
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Originally Posted by fatbillybob View Post
Bad habit: Underestimating what that wall feels like in the RW.
Ouch
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Old 01-25-2019, 05:19 PM
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Originally Posted by ProCoach View Post
Train your eyes for recognizing the “rise time” of yaw build, so you can avoid not recognizing it until it’s too late.
Okay now I'm curious.....
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Old 01-25-2019, 05:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Nizer View Post
Okay now I'm curious.....
So, one of the most common issues in real-life is either under-estimating (generally, fixing too quickly the desired rotation) or over-estimating ("I got it, I got it, I got it... I don't got it. ) the amount of acceptable yaw generation (going in and coming out) and maintaining desired slip angle (going through and out).

As in so many things about driving, people jumble together many "calls and responses" that they make to the car, without regard to the fact that there are several items in play, not the least of which is rate and amplitude of control inputs, steering, braking and acceleration. We are seeking the optimum relationship between all three, at ALL times...

There are TWO main issues centered around developing these skills where working on the sim can be helpful, especially when looking at replays and at the data generated by the driver in the sim afterwards.

Those two issues are often the crux of drivers making "breakthroughs" in real-life and are essential components in a pro driver's tool box.

The first is being able to discern the differences in the rate of yaw building (slip more at one end, almost always the rear) between "good" and "not good." If it builds in a manageable way, and under the direction of the driver, it's generally good. If it builds too suddenly, and is an unplanned reaction to a driver input, that's not good. This generally occurs at EoB, at or after turn in but before the apex and transition to the second issue.

The second is at, around or coming off the apex, where pro-active throttle (by the planned and executed strategy of the driver) begins and sustains a yaw angle that "balances" the car, particularly in relation between steering (goal is to lessen lock) and throttle (slightly overpowering the rear wheels, say in a Cup car). Practicing on the sim coming through and off Turn 1 at VIR is a GREAT place to do this.

Bottom line is that you can teach your eyes to quantify the rate of yaw build and incrementally allow that slip to be sustained. If you train your eyes to do this, it becomes automatic in real-life and disaster can be averted. At least that's my experience.

This is probably sounding like a word salad, I'll give some more thought over Sebring week and follow up if I can think of how to make it clearer.
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Old 01-25-2019, 08:59 PM
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I find Iracing an unbelievable tool for learning the line and the track, there are a few things that can throw you off though. Living in Canada and having 5 months off you cannot Irace all winter then jump into a race weekend, at least I can’t, I need a day to go from eye to butt, feels like I have never been on track before for the first couple of sessions. Iracing does not let you know where the grip is, that you need to work out in the car. I went to Road America last year for the first time, I spent a lot of time on the sim, problem was in Iracing I could drive all over all of the curbing and survive not so much in real life, I shook the hell out of the car and myself for half a day then had to teach myself the line all over again. Still would not want to go to a new track without it, the first time I ever went to the Glen was blind on a advanced DE 2 day session with Niagara, after 2 sessions with my arm out the window I hired a coach to help bring me up to speed.
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Old 01-25-2019, 10:46 PM
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Originally Posted by ProCoach View Post
Bottom line is that you can teach your eyes to quantify the rate of yaw build

This is probably sounding like a word salad, I'
LOL! "word salad" That's great.

OK... teaching your eyes? I thought I was training my a$$? In the words of the great Bruce Lee, "don't look ...F-E-E-L..." What are the eyes seeing an imaginary car centerline and an imaginary trajectory on the tarmac and interpreting a slip angle? Your word salad went right over my head.

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Old 01-25-2019, 11:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Burkey View Post
I need a day to go from eye to butt, feels like I have never been on track before for the first couple of sessions. Iracing does not let you know where the grip is, that you need to work out in the car. I went to Road America last year for the first time, I spent a lot of time on the sim, problem was in Iracing I could drive all over all of the curbing and survive not so much in real life, I shook the hell out of the car and myself for half a day then had to teach myself the line all over again. Still would not want to go to a new track without it, the first time I ever went to the Glen was blind on a advanced DE 2 day session with Niagara, after 2 sessions with my arm out the window I hired a coach to help bring me up to speed.
Once you see a lot of new tracks it is pretty easy to figure out the line. You start to see the same things over again. The turn off the banking to infield from ACS to MIS to Daytona are all the same as examples. Then you dial it in quickly. ACS is more acute where it is important to get a good launch out of the faux chicane to the short straight good passing opportunity. While at Homestead you can carry big speed past turn-in to the next brake zone and better complete your pass or you get stuck for the next few turns and just kill your laptime.

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